1200L 34hp model with LA7Y Zinngrau Metallic /Pewter Metallic paintwork, green tinted glass, chrome bumpers and trim (operating buttons black), silver ’50 years’ badge on left front quarter and engine lid, twin white side stripes, 4.5Jx15 sports wheels with 165 SR 15, ‘Braunschweig/Brunswick’ radio, padded dashboard, cloth upholstery with grey and red stripes, head restraints in cloth and leatherette, 4 spoke sports steering wheel, grey headlining, grey carpet on sills and rear luggage compartment, heated rear window.
First shown at the IAA-Frankfurt show in September 1985, 3,150 1986 Jubilee models represent the final Beetles for Europe from Mexico. A similar model was sold in Mexico with a 1.6 engine and no heated rear window.
The official 50 Years celebrations were held in Wolfsburg, Germany at the beginning of October 1985. motoring journalist Stephen Paul Hardy attended:-
‘The official 50 Year birthday celebrations in October 1985 embraced veteran VWs and their owners participation on the first weekend and Press participation the next.
All visitor cars taking part in the Sunday tour and quiz were given a plaque – they were originally the same all-silver as all the rest of the artwork but the resin has now yellowed and gives the golden look. The silver and blue graphics were used on the cover of these documents, the press pack and the VW calendar that year as well as invitations and other sundry press material.
The official press reception was the weekend following – the 50 Jahr Edition was “running late” on delivery and not available for the gathering (the rumours were that the shipment had a rough sea crossing from Mexico and a lot of “touching up” repairs were needed before they were released!). The Planetarium was the location for the assembled cars on Saturday.
For some reason I missed out on getting the literature pack – from memory, the joining instructions sent out by invitation were rather scant and I ended up being very busy with a visit to the Wolfsburg Factory Fire Department on Saturday morning before being guided to the Planetarium venue by early afternoon. We ended up staying in the same guesthouse as the Lottermann contingent, the Weymann contingent, and other overseas guests. It was chaotic and exhausting partly because I had done a “dash” from Sussex to WOB on the Friday being a little bit wary of the fact that my white ’78 already had close to 100,000 on the clock at 4 years old!’
Motoring journalist Peter Frost also notes:-
I won a trophy in a quiz at the ‘Big Beetle Evening’ official reception on Saturday night in the Festzelt (party tent). If I remember correctly, there were three trophies up for grabs and were in bronze, silver, and gold. I was happy to snag third place by answering correctly the exact date of when the first VW bus rolled off the production line and I went up on stage to receive my prize.
I’m not sure what it’s made of, but it’s either brass or bronze and is quite heavy, weighing in at 605g with its base lined with green baize. On the two longer sides it has the inscription “50 Jahre VW Kӓfer”, while at both ends is “1935 – 1985”.
Beetle brochure courtesy KdF-WAGEN.de. Press Information folder courtesy beetlebooks.de. Some information provided by Gebrueder Behling, Elka Neikova and Tim Sewe. 50 Years Kafer badge picture courtesy Jan-Anders Lindqvist. Stanford Hall display photographs courtesy Jessamy Dela Torre.